How to Say Thank You and Show Your Appreciation
Being appreciated for what you do is something most people thrive on. When you’re thanked for your efforts, and you know that what you do isn’t being taken for granted, it makes all your hard work worthwhile. You know how nice it feels to be appreciated, but how good are you at saying thank you to other people? When you lead a full, busy life, you can easily start to be the one who is taking others for granted, without meaning to. Saying thank you may be a simple action, but it has enormous value in promoting happiness and building good relationships.
Thanking random strangers
Do you ever hold a door open for someone only to watch them breeze through without acknowledging your gesture? Have you let another driver pull out in front of you when they’re stuck in a side road, and felt angry when they don’t put a hand up to say thanks? These kinds of minor events happen all the time, and the negative feelings they provoke can be just as powerful as the positive ones.
Sometimes other people are so absorbed in what they’re doing or thinking that they don’t realise you’ve been polite or helpful; some people are just plain rude. Whichever they are, you’ll feel the same way about them when they don’t thank you for your kindness, so if you don’t already, make an effort to say thanks or acknowledge others when they hold doors open for you, let you out into traffic, or any of the other small gestures they may make as you go about your day.
Thanking colleagues and acquaintances
The workplace is a frequent cause of resentment among people who feel they aren’t appreciated. A good manager knows that acknowledging the work their staff does should be standard practice, and that a word of thanks or a positive comment can make a world of difference to staff morale. If staff don’t get the appreciation they deserve, it can be highly demotivating, and you’ll never achieve optimum productivity or a happy working environment if you don’t learn to appreciate your staff.
Appreciation between colleagues is also important, because they are all members of a team that need to work together to produce the best results. When you have a collection of different characters working together, some may not get along with one or other of their colleagues, but they still have to find a way to make the relationship work. Showing appreciation when a colleague helps out and congratulating them on their achievements makes for a far happier team, so even if you don’t particularly like someone, remember the importance of making positive comments when they’re helpful.
Sometimes you want to show your appreciation for staff, work colleagues, or other people within your industry by doing more than just saying thank you. If you’re the boss, you might want to treat your team to lunch out one day, or bring in a fruit basket (or a box of donuts, depending on their preference!) to show them how much you value their contribution. Work colleagues can also feel moved to give gifts to each other, which will be appreciated by the recipient; just make sure that giving one person a gift doesn’t make the other staff members feel left out. Home-made crafts and food items are a good choice if you have talents in that area, or a communal box of chocolates so that everyone shares in the good feeling.
Thanking loved ones and close family
The people who do the most for you are sometimes the ones who get the least appreciation, so think about when you last said a proper thank you to your best friend or partner for all the things they do. Do you ever thank your children when they tidy their room or do their homework without a fuss? Positive reinforcement doesn’t just make people feel good – it encourages them to continue behaving in the manner that led to the reward. It’s important not to go overboard and make your appreciation so commonplace that it doesn’t have any impact. Buying someone you love a beautiful bunch of flowers is a lovely gift and a great way to show your appreciation, but if you start bringing flowers home every day, it turns into something routine and loses its potency.
You also need to put some thought into buying gifts for loved ones, so that they are seen as being an item you’ve chosen with care, rather than grabbing any old thing at the last minute. For example, there are many alternative ways to give flowers as a gift, from large and small bunches to potted plants, posies, and some highly elaborate flower arrangements, and you can read more here about all the ways to use flowers to show your appreciation.
Likewise, if you get someone a box of chocolates, make sure you buy a selection they like, don’t buy something cheap, and remember to consider whether chocolates are appropriate at the time. For instance, if your partner is on a diet, a gift of candy is a difficult one for them to enjoy; they either can’t eat it, or they eat it and feel bad about giving in to temptation. Alternatively, try remembering any comments your loved ones make about items they’d like to have, and present them with one of these as a way of saying thank you. They’ll be touched you remembered, and they’ll appreciate the fact that you got them something they genuinely wanted.
Don’t get so caught up in your thoughts and activities that you forget to thank the people around you for their contribution to your life. Remember how good it feels to be appreciated, and take the time to say a genuine thank you to others now and then. You’ll find that the better you are at thanking others, the more likely you are to receive thanks from them too. A simple thank you goes a long way, so harness the power of appreciation and make yourself and those around you happier.